I find myself out in the yard nearly every night between 2:00 and 3:00am shining my flashlight in every corner, carefully scanning the yard …. looking for little beady eyes staring back at me.

The elusive possum.

My husband calls them “midnight ramblers”. I just call them an aggravation that I have to run out of our dog lot almost every time our Boxer, Mary Grace, has to go out in the middle of the night. Why she can’t go before bed and then wait till morning to go back out is beyond me. So there I stand, in my big baggy pajama pants, jacket and hand-me-down house shoes, shining my flashlight around to see if that dad-burned possum is rambling around inside the lot. Sure enough, I spot it in one corner. There it is with those eyes reflecting in the beam of my super duper bright light. I love my flashlight. The batteries don’t last a long time and they’re expensive, but they’re worth it. (did I ever mention that I love tools and gadgets)

One cool thing I figured out after I panicked the first time I found a possum in the yard — if you shine the light on the possum and walk toward it, the varmint will head for the hills! Well, it heads back to the vines and trees it climbed to get inside the lot and it promptly disappears. I don’t know where it goes. You’d think it would go back out the way it came in. I don’t think possums understand that concept. All I know is that the thing gets gone and I can go let the dog out. Meanwhile, she’s looking out the door, crossing her legs while she waits on me to get the possum out of her space.

I don’t even want to deal with the aftermath that would ensue if she went out there with the possum in her lot. Have you ever had to get a dead possum out of your yard? Me neither. I want to keep it that way.

There is another (and better) way to get that possum out of my yard. I pray it outta there. Laugh if you want to, but the Lord cares about me having to deal with that thing after my dog gets me up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. I know what you’re thinking — why don’t I just lay hands on the dog so she won’t have to go out? I’ve done that too. As you may know, the Lord will let us go our own way when we don’t listen, which is what Mary Grace does sometimes. Sometimes she won’t go back outside before bedtime. Then I hear a faint whimper in the night, following by her nails clicking on the bare floor. By the time I get up, put on my house shoes, find the flashlight and actually get the door open she’s dancing around in circles. I always apologize because I have to take time to go check the yard. She wakes me up out of a cozy sleep and I”m apologizing to her. The things we do for our dogs…

Back to me praying for the Lord to remove the possum from the dog lot. I believe He cares about everything that affects us and that possum definitely affects my ability to quickly let the dog out so we can get back to bed and back to sleep. Drifting off to sleepy land after all that is not an easy task. I lay there pondering life’s greatest questions, like, “why don’t they design turn lanes so cars aren’t in each other’s way when turning…” and other questions in life.

The possum problem isn’t the worst thing in the world. I realize that.  “Just let the dog out and don’t worry about it,” you may think. Please refer back to paragraph #5. It may not even be the same possum. What if  something happened to it. I’m not saying anything will happen – this is purely hypothetical. There could be other possums out there with the same idea, so that wouldn’t solve anything.

I like my idea about talking to the Lord about that possum. He knows if there are others and how to steer them away from the dog lot. I can imagine the scene. Angels out there shooing possums away from going in the dog lot.

Please don’t send hate mail on that last statement. Just pray for me and that possum.